I was halfway into preparing this week’s colour me happy theme of water when I heard about the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Needless to say, upon viewing the devastating images, I quickly abandoned my theme.
When I was a designer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, I worked on a merchandised product that required separate editions for many different countries. Part of the product was an information booklet. To save money, the booklet was reproduced in black and white for every country except for one. I was told that Japan placed so much value on colour, their version would be the only exception. With that comment, I realized Japan might be my kindred spirit. Across architecture, textiles, stationery, food, fashion and every other avenue of design and art, there is so much innovation and astounding creativity in Japan. Watching the tragedy unfold, I feel what I am sure so many others do – totally helpless. I was thinking of that booklet project and, while I realize this post might not colour anyone in Japan happy, I hope it serves as a tribute and show of support to a nation that saturates so much of its life in vibrant, joyful colour.